Award for Excellence in Teaching Writing

The Duke University Award for Excellence in Teaching Writing recognizes exceptionally strong teachers of academic writing. The award is made possible by the generosity of the Karen Blumenthal and Scott McCartney Endowment.


My Writing 101 course, “Land of the Free,” introduces students to academic writing and reflective civic engagement by asking them to examine the values that infuse public discourse (such as liberty, equality, and human dignity) in relation to the punitive practices of the U.S. criminal justice... read more »

Queer Theory is a field of study that questions the meanings and values that we attach to different sexual and gender categories. Queer theorists are also interested in how queer subjects—those who are non-heterosexual, trans*, and/or gender non-conforming—make “space” for different ways of living... read more »

Coming of age in a country that has been involved in several military conflicts during much of their lifetimes, our students live in wartime, but often experience war at a distance and through a rapidly changing media environment. I designed my Writing 101 class, “Writing War: What Is It Good For... read more »

The central questions that guided our inquiry in Monkey Mindreading: Exploring Primate Psychology were: What kinds of cognitive abilities do primates have? How can scientists assess them?, and What do differences or similarities in cognition across various animals mean evolutionarily? To lay the... read more »

As someone whose work consists of traveling abroad, conducting interviews, and observing different types of social practices and interactions, I wanted to design a course which allowed students to engage in international issues and conduct their own research, but without having to leave campus. I... read more »

My fall 2010 course, entitled “Sounds of the Field: Writing About Sound and Sport” is an experiment in working together with students on a new area of research—the sounds of mass sport in North America—that constitutes a critique of my discipline, ethnomusicology, and its focus on the exotic and... read more »

The Duke University Medical Center (DUMC) and its associated clinics boast a rich and fascinating history, some of which is well documented and plenty of which is not. In my Fall 2009 Writing 101 (20) course, “Oral History and the Stories of Medicine,” my students uncovered and circulated some of... read more »

Amidst one of the most engaging election campaigns in recent history, I offered a Writing 101 (20) course called “Writing About Religion and Politics.” At the outset I told students that my goal was not to help them draft a compelling brief for their favorite candidates. Instead, I asked them to... read more »

The Writing 101 (20) classroom at Duke University is a unique and privileged setting for first-year students to become initiated into the life of the mind. It offers them an intimate environment, fostered by the small class size, and a disciplinary framework in which they can pursue intellectual... read more »

Scientific research and publication, and academic writing more generally, are part of conversations that are sometimes contentious, sometimes conducted over our colleagues’ heads, and sometimes brilliant, but always conversations with others. This principle, central to my Writing 101 (20) courses,... read more »